Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 27

McConnell must protect people over coal industry

In his commentary, "Editorial wrong to dismiss my plan to create jobs," Sen. Mitch McConnell said it himself: the "once thriving coal mines."

The Environmental Protection Agency and those few 402 discharge permits are not the cause of the downturn in coal; there are many factors. The least he could do is be honest with the workers and their families, giving them hope that is not going to come with coal.

Why, as he travels through some of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Appalachian mountains, doesn't he recognize our real assets: our homelands, our people?

We are fortunate enough to live in a temperate rain forest with some of the most diverse animal and plant species in the world. We are second only to Alaska in running water.

Our people love our sense of home and as a leader he should recognize that we are not only a colony for the coal industry but are a people of place. We want to have a place where our children can get educated and stay home if they wish.

But first we need to figure out how to clean up the mess left from legacy mining problems. Our people are dying every day from polluted drinking water and toxic air as the mountains are blown up or the dirty trucks and trains travel by.

It is McConnell's responsibility to make sure the EPA protects them, not to make it easier for the coal industry to pollute them more.

Teri Blanton


Clean water a priority

As Sen. Mitch McConnell campaigned through some of the most diverse forest in the world, second only in running water to Alaska, the only thing on his mind was rhetoric about coal.

You can only take so much from the Earth and then that is all there is. They have blasted and ripped and torn up our real asset —where we live.

What Mitch should be talking about is what kind of future can Appalachia have now that the coal is almost gone — a situation that no number of new permits can fix.

How will we fix the polluted streams and sliding mountains? Can we as Appalachians believe that we can create a new future where our children don't have to leave to get a job?

Too many in our work force are injured from the hard work in the mines and are forced on disability for lack of other opportunities.

When will McConnell come talk the real truth or offer any real solutions?

But yes, let's talk about the 402 permitting situation. What is wrong with the Environmental Protection Agency enforcing the Clean Water Act since Kentucky officials won't? Don't people deserve clean water? Or does what the companies want matter most?

We need to hear the truth from our elected officials, not attempts to turn us against each other. Those who need a job and those who need a clean drink of water — we are all the same people.

Carl Shoupe


Ability unrelated to sex

Retired Lexington teacher Roger Guffey spent a great deal listing many homosexuals and some purported homosexuals who were successful in their various fields in his May 18 op-ed.

While no serious critic disputes the contributions that gay artists, musicians and philosophers have made to society, it is dubious to suppose that they were great because of their sexual practices.

Aaron Copland was judged for the beautiful music he wrote, W.H. Auden for his poetry, and Rock Hudson for his acting ability. Not one of their societal contributions were based upon what they did in private behind closed doors. Nor do their cultural accomplishments establish the goodness or rightness of homosexuality. That is a separate issue.

Many of the examples that Guffey cites did not wear their homosexuality on their shirt sleeve. I wonder how many would appreciate it if they knew that their bedroom habits have been dragged into public view to score political points?

Richard Nelson